Tell You What


Advice on life from the developmentally disabled artists at Creativity Explored.

Lisick first became familiar with Creativity Explored when she lived around the corner from the studio/gallery in San Francisco’s Mission District. In the preface to Tell You What, she writes: “I’d check out the current show, maybe buy cards or gift wrap, but I never ventured back into the studio to meet the artists or watch them work. . . .I imagined if I stepped over that threshold, all sorts of things could happen. What if I got into a long conversation I didn’t know how to get out of? What if an artist wanted me to buy their art and I had to say no? . . . . What if I was so overcome with Big Feelings that I cried? What if I didn’t want to leave?”

About the series:
New York Times bestselling author Beth Lisick collaborated with Creativity Explored to continue her line of creative nonfiction with a series titled Tell You What. In her series, Lisick conveys Creativity Explored artists’ philosophies on art and living.

For over a year, Lisick spent time in the Creativity Explored studios and on community outings where she observed and conversed with the artists.  She collected artists’ advice and anecdotes on the topics of love, fashion, home, friendship, inspiration, food, exercise, money, patience, and death. The advice is practical, thought provoking, and often includes a touch of humor. Each installment includes a cover image by a Creativity Explored artist.

About the Creative Work Fund:
The Creative Work Fund was initiated in 1994 by four Bay Area foundations that wanted to contribute to the creation of new art works and support local artists. It is now a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that is supported by generous grants from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The James Irvine Foundation. For the 2010-2011 grant cycle, the Fund invited literary and traditional artists and nonprofit organizations from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Stanislaus counties to apply. Grants are recommended to the fund by prestigious committees of panelists.